• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question For gaming only, would a 9900k be notably better than a 3900x?

viivo

Diamond Member
May 4, 2002
3,320
26
91
By "notably" I mean an obvious improvement in framerates, frametimes, and system latency. With the same components as the 3900x system, would the 9900k offer noticeably better performance?

Currently using a 3900x on an Asus TUF X570 and a 5700 XT (which I hope to upgrade soon. I know it would make the most difference but GPU stock and prices have yet to calm down.) The 9900k would go into an MSI MEG ACE Z390.
 

Zucker2k

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2006
1,160
518
136
By "notably" I mean an obvious improvement in framerates, frametimes, and system latency. With the same components as the 3900x system, would the 9900k offer noticeably better performance?
Noticeably, yes, but not in all cases. 9900k is the superior gaming chip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: viivo

viivo

Diamond Member
May 4, 2002
3,320
26
91
Also, if you're "stuck" at 60fps at higher resolutions, you really won't get that much more out of a 9900k.
I plat 2560x1440 100Hz with vsync. Since FreeSync causes too much flickering, it's important I maintain a framerate of at least 97 to prevent stuttering. I'd like to go to 120 or 144 but my GPU prevents that.
 

Tup3x

Senior member
Dec 31, 2016
320
153
86
Noticeably, yes, but not in all cases. 9900k is the superior gaming chip.
I'd say measurable rather than noticeable and pretty much only with RTX 2080 Ti at 1080p. At 1440p with maxed out settings things are pretty much GPU limited. To be honest, it doesn't make any sense to change now. If he really wants to upgrade then he should just wait for Zen 3.
 

Elfear

Diamond Member
May 30, 2004
6,936
405
126
At 1440p, the difference between those two chips is very small even with a 2080Ti. With your 5700XT the difference will be even smaller. Small enough you won't notice any difference in the majority of games. There are a few games where there might be a noticeable difference in favor of the 9900k so I would look at reviews with the specific games you play.

1593722792502.png
1593722854711.png
Tech Spot.png
 

Attachments

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,041
5,000
136
I plat 2560x1440 100Hz with vsync. Since FreeSync causes too much flickering, it's important I maintain a framerate of at least 97 to prevent stuttering. I'd like to go to 120 or 144 but my GPU prevents that.
I agree with @Gikaseixas , @Magic Carpet , @Elfear , and @Tup3x . The only area where the Intel chip(s) will maybe make a difference will be in 1% or .1% minimums, and even then not so much. If you're really worried, invest in a 3900XT or Zen3 (4900X?) with your existing platform. Also consider tuning your memory (helpful on both AMD and Intel systems).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,260
65
91
Thanks, interesting information. Source clearly favors AMD's gamecache here. At any rate DX12/Vulkan will further cement AMD's core advantage over Intel in the next 2-3 years. 3900x IS the CPU to get today for the future games.

By "notably" I mean an obvious improvement in framerates, frametimes, and system latency. With the same components as the 3900x system, would the 9900k offer noticeably better performance?
I think you will regret getting 9900k over 3900x in the future. If you want Intel, get 10900k instead.

1593781060717.png

2) If you know Zlatan (he's into game dev), that's what he had to say about this matter.

Get as many core as you can. It doesn't really matter if the CPU is from AMD or Intel. You will need cores. A lot of them.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
985
695
136
I own a 8700K (gaming rig) and R5 3600 (ITX lounge PC), I decided to drop my 5700XT into the Ryzen system just to see if there is much difference in gaming performance at this level of GPU, since most reviews test with 2080 Tis to reduce GPU bottlenecks.

In all honesty, there is not a noticeable difference that I can discern with the sole exception of Far Cry New Dawn, which runs much better on Intel for some reason. I also game at 100Hz (well, 110Hz since I overclocked my monitor) but at UWFHD (2560 X 1080) instead of QHD so if anything you'll see even less difference as you'll be more GPU bound.

The difference is still measurable in terms of benchmarking, but it's small enough that I probably wouldn't be able to tell in a blind test which system is which.

That being said, I dont have a specific requirement of 97+ fps at all times, and I tend to max out my IQ settings unless I'm gaming competitively online, at which point I'll drop settings down a notch to maintain consistent 100fps+ performance.

If 97fps+ is the metric to go by, then a 9900K would generally provide the higher min fps compared to the 3900X - assuming you are gaming with a suitably fast GPU and / or more CPU bound settings - NOT the ultra settings that were linked earlier showing all the CPUs bunching up due to GPU bottlenecks.

Ultimately, if your end goal is consistent 100fps+ then you don't game at ultra settings, period. Even a 2080 Ti won't guarantee that at all times, let alone a 5700XT.

'High' settings usually show a 20 - 30% uplift in fps compared to 'ultra' without a huge loss to IQ, and in that scenario a 9900K could be the difference between say, 90fps mins and 100fps mins.
 
Last edited:

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
985
695
136
I agree with @Gikaseixas , @Magic Carpet , @Elfear , and @Tup3x . The only area where the Intel chip(s) will maybe make a difference will be in 1% or .1% minimums, and even then not so much. If you're really worried, invest in a 3900XT or Zen3 (4900X?) with your existing platform. Also consider tuning your memory (helpful on both AMD and Intel systems).
Higher clockspeeds don't do much for Ryzen in terms of gaming, as they are more bottlenecked by latency than frequency. A 3900XT won't be a noticeable upgrade over a 3900X. It's the memory tuning (as you mentioned) and IF tuning that helps Ryzen gain ~10% clock vs clock versus a stock untuned setup. Despite that, a fully tuned, maxed out Ryzen 3600XT @ 4.6GHz is only equal to an untuned, stock 10600K. If you oc/tune the 10600K then its in a different class especially with min fps:

Yes, Gamers Nexus did choose more CPU bound settings in order to highlight the true 'gaming IPC' differences of these chips, but it goes back to my point in my earlier post that if you wanted a consistent 100fps experience with minimal dips below that mark, you need to turn down settings even on a 2080 Ti and under those conditions, a 9900K would probably show a measurable, *possibly* noticeable difference over a 3900X. It would depend on the game and how sensitive the OP is to frame dips below the native refresh rate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97 and Arkaign

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
10,026
195
116
Higher clockspeeds don't do much for Ryzen in terms of gaming, as they are more bottlenecked by latency than frequency. A 3900XT won't be a noticeable upgrade over a 3900X. It's the memory tuning (as you mentioned) and IF tuning that helps Ryzen gain ~10% clock vs clock versus a stock untuned setup. Despite that, a fully tuned, maxed out Ryzen 3600XT @ 4.6GHz is only equal to an untuned, stock 10600K. If you oc/tune the 10600K then its in a different class especially with min fps:

Yes, Gamers Nexus did choose more CPU bound settings in order to highlight the true 'gaming IPC' differences of these chips, but it goes back to my point in my earlier post that if you wanted a consistent 100fps experience with minimal dips below that mark, you need to turn down settings even on a 2080 Ti and under those conditions, a 9900K would probably show a measurable, *possibly* noticeable difference over a 3900X. It would depend on the game and how sensitive the OP is to frame dips below the native refresh rate.
Does anyone do testing with a bunch of software running in the background? I can't be the only one who never closes web browsers with a bunch of tabs, multiple processes running in the background, maybe a stream on a second monitor... I've always wondered what the differences would be in that scenario.
 

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,254
162
106
From everything I've seen, the 9900K is technically faster than the 3900X, but only marginally. It squeezes out better single-threaded performance, and current games don't really scale past eight cores/sixteen threads to take advantage of the 3900X's additional cores. But really, the 3900X is fast enough that very few games will be CPU bottlenecked by it, even with a 2080 Ti. It manages hundreds of FPS in competitive games like Overwatch or CS GO, and if you dial up the graphics settings in current single player games, you'll hit a GPU limit well before you hit a CPU limit. Meanwhile, the 3900X is head and shoulders ahead of the 9900K in most productivity and multitasking workloads.

So effectively the 9900K is a side-grade to the 3900X in gaming, and an outright downgrade at everything else. Not worth it. Save your money and put it towards a GPU upgrade- getting a 2080 Super or Ti would be a much more noticeable improvement. That, or save towards a CPU/GPU upgrade later on when you actually need it.
 

inf64

Platinum Member
Mar 11, 2011
2,978
1,465
136
From everything I've seen, the 9900K is technically faster than the 3900X, but only marginally. It squeezes out better single-threaded performance, and current games don't really scale past eight cores/sixteen threads to take advantage of the 3900X's additional cores. But really, the 3900X is fast enough that very few games will be CPU bottlenecked by it, even with a 2080 Ti. It manages hundreds of FPS in competitive games like Overwatch or CS GO, and if you dial up the graphics settings in current single player games, you'll hit a GPU limit well before you hit a CPU limit. Meanwhile, the 3900X is head and shoulders ahead of the 9900K in most productivity and multitasking workloads.

So effectively the 9900K is a side-grade to the 3900X in gaming, and an outright downgrade at everything else. Not worth it. Save your money and put it towards a GPU upgrade- getting a 2080 Super or Ti would be a much more noticeable improvement. That, or save towards a CPU/GPU upgrade later on when you actually need it.
I want to only add that we are 3-4 months away from 4900X(T?) and 4950X which will bring up to ~20% IPC over Zen2 and higher clocks, unified CCX design, lower latency etc. Another reason to save money and keep using 3900X which can be fine tuned to squeeze more fps.
 

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,254
162
106
I want to only add that we are 3-4 months away from 4900X(T?) and 4950X which will bring up to ~20% IPC over Zen2 and higher clocks, unified CCX design, lower latency etc. Another reason to save money and keep using 3900X which can be fine tuned to squeeze more fps.
Yes, that too. New tech is just around the corner, and the 3900X/5700 XT combo is certainly good enough that there's no immediate need to upgrade. Don't be me and buy a B450 mobo a month before B550 was finally announced...
 

epsilon84

Senior member
Aug 29, 2010
985
695
136
From everything I've seen, the 9900K is technically faster than the 3900X, but only marginally. It squeezes out better single-threaded performance, and current games don't really scale past eight cores/sixteen threads to take advantage of the 3900X's additional cores. But really, the 3900X is fast enough that very few games will be CPU bottlenecked by it, even with a 2080 Ti. It manages hundreds of FPS in competitive games like Overwatch or CS GO, and if you dial up the graphics settings in current single player games, you'll hit a GPU limit well before you hit a CPU limit. Meanwhile, the 3900X is head and shoulders ahead of the 9900K in most productivity and multitasking workloads.

So effectively the 9900K is a side-grade to the 3900X in gaming, and an outright downgrade at everything else. Not worth it. Save your money and put it towards a GPU upgrade- getting a 2080 Super or Ti would be a much more noticeable improvement. That, or save towards a CPU/GPU upgrade later on when you actually need it.
I agree with you on the whole - the GPU makes the biggest difference to framerate, but the OPs situation is rather specific. 100fps mins are often the domain of the CPU, not the GPU - generally speaking, GPU limited mins tend to end up lower than that. When you relax in game settings below ultra, that's when you can get the fps up consistently above 100fps. I do this when I play multiplayer, but for single player games, details are cranked right up and I don't mind the occasional dips into 60 - 70fps territory, Freesync takes care of that, so you are correct, under those circumstances the GPU is almost always the limiting factor.

Ultimately its all about balance - I would argue that in certain titles even a 9900K is a 'bottleneck' for a 2080 Ti. The problem is, we don't really have anything faster for gaming (technically we do have the 10900K but thats a mehh difference) so a counter-argument is that anything slower than a 9900K is a 'bottleneck' for a 2080 Ti, its just a matter of how much. At CPU bound settings, the difference is around 10%, which isn't much, but if the OP wants 100fps at all times, then the 9900K will get him closer to that target than a 3900X, so I don't entirely agree that it is a 'sidegrade' - it is when GPU bound, but thats the beauty of PC gaming, we have 20 in game graphics settings that we can tune to get the perfect balance of IQ vs performance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arkaign and Tlh97

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,079
487
126
At 1440p, the difference between those two chips is very small even with a 2080Ti. With your 5700XT the difference will be even smaller. Small enough you won't notice any difference in the majority of games. There are a few games where there might be a noticeable difference in favor of the 9900k so I would look at reviews with the specific games you play.

View attachment 24761
View attachment 24762
View attachment 24765
Shocking to see the 7700K at 1440p still hanging with the latest chips.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Elfear

thesmokingman

Platinum Member
May 6, 2010
2,230
139
106
There's no way I could go with a one trick pony today. Everyday I have streetsmart, mediacoder, browsers, winamp or streaming music, and a session of whatever windowed game going while mediacoder is encoding my library to x265. Add to this sessions of vpn, newsbin, irc, etc etc... And that's not counting background stuff like plex for the household.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,082
3,730
146
Tom's just did a detailed review on this very question: https://www.tomshardware.com/features/amd-ryzen-9-3900x-vs-intel-core-i9-9900k-gaming
Just as expected, differences in CPU mattered less when we tested games at higher resolutions or with slower GPUs — or both. There are some other factors that we do need to consider, however. First, the Core i9-9900K isn't technically the fastest CPU for gaming any longer, as the Core i9-10900K holds that title. In our testing, we found the 10900K outperformed the 9900K by up to 17% in a few games. We can also include the Ryzen 9 3900XT and Ryzen 7 3800XT for AMD, which are a few percent faster than the Ryzen 9 3900X.
If only gaming, the 9900k (or the 10900k which is even faster) is the "best" gaming CPU.

There are PLENTY of charts and averages in the article that show what the difference is. That said, unless gaming at 1080p (or lower), there's no way I would personally pay more for the 9900k or 10900k, when the Ryzen 3900X is cheaper and is pretty much right there in terms of gaming experience.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97 and Elfear

rbk123

Senior member
Aug 22, 2006
705
277
136
I think the message sums up to:
- upgrade the GPU now - yes, they are still pricey, but that isn't going to change anytime soon/ever since both Nvidia and AMD are price fixing their products to each other
- wait to see how the new CPU's pan out around the corner; even if you don't get the newer AMD, a 9900K or 10900K should be cheaper as a result
 

joesiv

Member
Mar 21, 2019
74
24
41
I think the message sums up to:
- upgrade the GPU now - yes, they are still pricey, but that isn't going to change anytime soon/ever since both Nvidia and AMD are price fixing their products to each other
- wait to see how the new CPU's pan out around the corner; even if you don't get the newer AMD, a 9900K or 10900K should be cheaper as a result
To be honest, if you can, I would wait until Nvidia/AMD show their next gen GPU's, either they'll be amazing, and you'll be disappointed to pick up a current gen GPU, or they won't be, but you'll still get a current gen card at discount because of the new models.

From everything we're hearing, these next GPU's are going to be a big step up.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY